the children and the cage

 

As they stood together in the same boat:

“I won’t force you,”  Ishmael said,

they wondered if that were true at all

 

this great black mass of rain,

and wind was staining the sky

the force of the wind that tore through the sails

streaks of lightning that

clattered down from

the swirling clouds, toppling into the churning sea

 

the storm engulfed the children

and the villain, part of the same unfortunate event

 

the children stood up unsteadily

limbs aching from

clinging to one another all night.

squinting into the sun

maneuvering around the wreckage

standing on a coastal shelf

 

swirling black clouds scurrying away

and the air was silent and still

 

You had to look closely to see

that the mess of limbs and hair

and orange and yellow cloth was a person at all

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